A Message from the Chairman of the ISMA Classics Committee
This annual Classic Newsletter has become the channel of information that all classic Six-Metre enthusiasts look forward very much to receive as it spreads the news about yachts that have been recently found, saved, rebuilt and restored.
In the beginning the Newsletter did not cover as many countries as now and now there seem to be sixes being uncovered in new countries of the world every time it is published. I think we can be very much thankful for Tim’s dedication to this work and I know that the Classic Newsletter has inspired many owners of yachts to keep the culture of classic yachts alive and well.
As the new ISMA Chairman of the Classic Committee I feel that there is now a need for certain decisions on Classic Rules, to ensure that the yachts will continue to inspire both current owners and new ones in the future. We need to understand that the current trend of modernizing Classics into Hot-Rods must come to an end. If we look at the Eights, it seems that the wooden mast and traditional horizontal/vertical cut Dacron sails are winning in every race. Dacron costs are only half of more exotic materials, although their life span perhaps lasts just two years compared to four. The calculation over four years ends up with sails costing about the same, however you can have newer sails more often instead and the looks are so much more beautiful.
These yachts are made to compete, make no mistake about my intentions. It is not a class for handicap racing, where you need a computer to know who won. In the Six Metre Circuit, the first yacht to cross the line should be the winner.
As an owner of both a “Hot-Rod” (the FIN-51 Maybe VI) and a truly classic (the US 80 Djinn) I can assure you that although both are wonderful fun to sail, the Djinn gives me more pleasure and ownership satisfaction. I urge you all therefore to think early in your restoration about which way you are going to go with your yacht. The real classic restoration is the new trend, and I think the hot-rod era is losing the battle.
It is now something like twelve years since I first produced this Classic Newsletter, initially purely for the interest of the British Classics, to let owners know what others were doing and to assist people in finding and restoring other British Sixes. It may be noticed that these notes are only numbered No. 11. The reason is that these early newsletters were not numbered, as it was not intended to produce them more than once or twice. However, here we are at Newsletter No. 11 and they have had a profound affect on the Classic Six-Metre scene. This year the number of enquiries have, it is true, fallen, but that is perhaps partially because most of the good Sixes have been found and taken for restoration, or have already been restored. As will be seen from these notes, there are still boats out here to be discovered: indeed this year they have turned up in barns, sheds and even in the jungle in Antigua. (Antigua has a jungle??)
Items of general historical interest have as usual been included, but the notes themselves have been pared down, as many boats have appeared a number of times and, where they are in commission, less information is forthcoming as people already know much of the information, most of which may be found in previous Newsletters.
What is perhaps the most interesting news is the possible formation of new classic fleets around the world, as owners and potential owners find boats and get together. Examples include The Netherlands, where there are now nine classic Six-Metres and the owners are getting into contact with each other, to exchange information and, hopefully, form a new fleet. In Australia, three Classics are now under new, or fairly new, ownership and they are in the process of being restored and the owners have been put in touch with each other, again with the aim of their getting together to form a small, but perfectly formed fleet. There is also a short note on Poland, where, for the first time since 1936, someone is not only researching and searching for the three known Polish Sixes, but has now bought one for a mammoth restoration. In the USA, I am delighted to say that a new fleet, The New England Fleet, is being formed on the East Coast formerly, from the 1920s to the 1950s the major base for Six-Metres in the States.
I would like to thank a number of our contributors who, this year, have helped me very much in putting together this Newsletter. These are Henrik Andersin, Basil Carmody, Fredrich Dahlman, Scott Rohrer and Jan Mateboer.
Definitive List of All Six-Metres All Six-metre owners should be interested to hear that, in the absence of any pre-existing full list of Six-Metres, Basil Carmody (FRA 75 Joanna) has been spending the last sixteen months collating all the information contained in the lists of every country’s Six-Metres, prepared in the first instances by Pekka Barck, Philippe Burban, Andrew McMeekin, Tim and Charles Street and Gerard Bechaud. He has been working on this task for a regular 8 or 9 hours every day and sometimes up to twelve hours a day for sixteen months! The original amalgamated list, initially combined by Andrew McMeekin to take into account all the research carried out by the above, included some 1960 boats, many of course doubled upldue to changes of name, country, sail numbers and other duplications. At the last notice, Basil had reached around 1490 confirmed different Six-Metres. He hopes to finish his mammoth task early in the new-year and, when he does, everyone involved in Six-Metres in any way, however minor, will owe him an enormous debt. Meanwhile, Tim Street has prepared the first, fairly definitive list of around 100 Modern Six-Metres (1965 to 2005), which has been added as an Appendix to his ISMA Modern’s Newsletter No. 1, which should very shortly be available on various Six-Metre websites. (See Note by Frederich Dahlman below).